Bryan Fischer
War isn't Wimbledon
By Bryan Fischer
June 23, 2010

In all the dust-up over Gen. McChrystal's comments in Rolling Stone, which made me wonder what all the fuss was about, one salient thing is being overlooked: We have already surrendered in Afghanistan.

For the first time in recorded history, the commander-in-chief of the mightiest military in the history of the world has told his enemies when our armies will vacate the field, and forfeit the contest — game, set and match.

President Obama has renewed his determination to start pulling troops out of Afghanistan in July of 2011, a scant 12 months from now. He has no way of knowing how subdued the Taliban will be at that point, or even if they will be subdued.

The enemy now knows he simply needs to hang on for a year, and he won't have an adversary to worry about. And it sends the worst possible message to those who live in Afghanistan, who, like the Taliban, will be there long after we leave. Their incentive now is either to align themselves with the Taliban or at minimum render no assistance whatsoever to U.S. forces, so they don't get their heads chopped off next August.

Announcing the date of your surrender is unheard of in warfare. It represents an insane way to fight a war. The message you are sending to your troops in the field is this: if you die in combat in the next year, there's no way we can tell you it won't be in vain. You may well be laying down your life for nothing. American treasure spent and American blood spilled, but for what?

Many sports have clocks. You know a football game is going to be over 60 minutes after it starts. An NBA game will be over 48 minutes after it starts, an NCAA basketball game 40 minutes after it starts. Mercifully for those who enjoy soccer as much as I do, World Cup games are over just 90 minutes after they start.

But in other sports, you just play until somebody wins, however long it takes.

Baseball is like that, and Wimbledon is like that. At Wimbledon, the men play five-set matches, and should the fifth set go into a tie breaker, the fifth set will last until somebody is up by two games. A match could go as long as five hours.

Now let's imagine you have made your way into the Wimbledon finals. The match is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. But you've got a plane to catch, and so you tell your opponent that you're going to leave Centre Court by 4 p.m. to get to Heathrow, whether the match is over or not.

Your opponent, of course, knows then if he can last until 4 p.m. the match and the trophy is his. He will adjust his strategy accordingly, playing a lot of deep lobs, working to create extended baseline exchanges, taking extra time between points, stretching out changeovers, developing mysterious ailments that require medical attention.

He knows he doesn't have to beat you, he only needs to outlast you.

Once the sporting world finds out what you have done, forfeiting a shot at a victory to meet a pre-set deadline, it will want to know what in the name of Rod Laver you were thinking. Why even show up if you're not in it to win it?

Now I've never been a fan of our nation-building efforts in Afghanistan or Iraq. It's impossible to establish a functional democracy in a Muslim nation. Islam is about domination, not democracy. The forms of government we have established in Iraq and Afghanistan will last only as long as we have a military presence there. Once we're gone, chaos and civil war will ensue within days.

And making nice with Muslims in the hopes they will like us is a fantasy, and betrays a naive and dangerously wrong-headed view of their religion. Their god teaches them to hate us and kill us, and our soldiers could all be Mr. Rogers and it wouldn't change a thing.

I think the rules of engagement are likewise insane, rules set by Gen. McChrystal, in which he prohibits his troops from using lethal force whenever civilians are around. The Taliban knows this, so they simply drag innocent women and children around with them wherever they go. So they can shoot at us, but we can't shoot back. That's just plain nuts, and a sure-fire recipe for defeat.

I don't care how many combat medals a general may have, if he comes up with a game plan like that, he ought to be reassigned to the National Guard in Nevada or someplace where he won't foolishly expose his own troops to death while their weapons hang uselessly at their sides.

What we ought to do is forget about nation-building and just get the bad guys. Hit the Taliban and everyone around them with everything we've got, wipe them off the face of the earth, and come home. And tell the Afghanis if they don't want us to come back, they better not let the Taliban revive, or we'll be back and blow them back to the Stone Age again. Your choice.

But a timeline for a pullout is nothing more than a telegraphed surrender. If that's they way we're going to play, why are we waiting until July of 2011 to come home? July of 2010 makes a lot more sense. If you're not going to play to win, General, bring 'em home tomorrow.

© Bryan Fischer


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